I usually start my day at 6:00 AM. I savor my breakfast and take short breathing exercises to gather my senses for the day’s work ahead. As a Site Forester, reporting to duty usually starts at 7:30 AM, considering the 40-minute travel from my home to the site. I dress up with my usual field shirts and shoes for a comfortable and long walk around the nursery and the entire site.
At 8:00 AM, I usually enjoy a quick Kumustahan conversation with the Nursery Coordinators and Workers to jump-start the day. The Kumustahan allows us to set the priorities for the day while building camaraderie with our colleagues as part of our Corporate Relations Department (CRD) Kapamilya. After Kumustahan, I work around the Site B Nursery to inspect the area and check our seedlings and mother trees in the hedge garden. This activity also serves as my daily exercise.
After my short groundwork, I check my calendar to see if I have meetings. If none, I do administrative activities and answer emails. Whenever I have field work, I check for the list of equipment needed and talk to our Forest Aide for the instructions. I wear the usual long sleeve jacket (since Mt Apo has a natural fully centralized aircon 24/7), field shoes, and hard hats. In between working hours (10:00 AM) the field team takes a short 15-minute break with bread, pandesal usually, to energize us on the field work. At lunch, we have our binalot (packed lunch) and eat at the field when needed. Sadly, sharing of food is now prohibited due to COVID-19. At 3:00 PM, we call off our field work and have a short debriefing at Site B. At 4:00 PM, the team returns to their respective homes while I will check for emails and join other activities such as Check-In Meetings and EDC engagement meetings, such as Tea Time. At 5:00 PM, I return to Kidapawan to call it a day, and talk to my loved ones (virtually) since I am far from them.
Rich Paul Cosio is a Forester and Watershed Management Officer at EDC-Mt. Apo Geothermal Project (MAGP)